Harley-Davidson Gets Back Into The Bicycle Business With Replica 1917 Standard Bike

Harley-Davidson makes motorcycles. It also makes some trikes. And it even made scooters once upon a time. But the Motor Company also made bicycles in its early days… and now it’s offering them again.

The Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee and Heritage Bicycles out of Chicago have teamed up to reproduce the 1917 Model 7-17 Standard bike. It’s said to be a faithful recreation of one of the original bicycles that William S. Harley and the Davidson brothers made between 1917 and 1922, right down to the HD pedal gear and the cast-metal badges. The only major difference to speak of is that the frame was enlarged to suit taller riders. (Apparently people have grown a bit over the last century or so.)

Want to get your hands (and feet) on one? That may be something of a tall order, because Heritage Bicycles will only make ten of them, each coated in olive green with pinstripes hand-painted by a local artist in St. Francis, Wisconsin. The museum will handle sales (and is now taking reservations). And as Autoblog and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report, each will command a rather princely sum of $4,200.

Now that’s not a lot for a Harley, some of whose CVO custom touring bikes sell for ten times that much. Even an entry-level Street 500 cafe racer will set you back nearly $7k, and most of its cruisers carry price tags in the $15-20k range. But any way you look at it, that’s a lot to spend on a bike you pedal yourself – even for Heritage Bicycles, whose classic rides sell for upwards of $800.

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  • Harry Nimmergut

    Umm, that uncovered chain looks like a real safety feature. Don’t have long pants on when you ride this baby!
    What a stupid idea.

    • ChrisInIL

      That’s OK. They purposefully chose that seat configuration and riding position to prevent rides longer than 10 minutes. Less time on the bike means more safety!

      Problem solved.

      • Richard Sloman

        Those saddles are very comfortable actually…

    • Mark Hawthorne

      Have you ever ridden a bicycle? Have you actually seen one that wasn’t a Huffy cruiser? The vast majority of bikes have an exposed chain. Welcome to the world of pedal power.

    • Alfa Giulia QV

      Almost every bicycle has an exposed chain. This is nothing new.

    • Status

      Holy fuck, have you ever ridden, or much less seen a bicycle at all in your life?!

      You’ve never learned how to ride a bike, have you?

  • Richard Sloman

    Dodge Brothers also started out in this humble transport segment…


    • Status

      Because it’s not as profitable as making only a few hundred to keep the demand high. By asking for $4200 for each unit, HD can command a higher price for each bike sold rather than going for volume sales. Therefore, if HD can command a premium for everything they sell, they won’t need to make as many as the market demands because it would a needless waste of time and money.

      American manufacturing is slowly learning that making things cheap and plentiful for the mass market is far less profitable than having a high transaction price for a select and well-heeled market.


  • CJKnox

    If you cant beat em’ bike em’.

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